D & R U.S. Senate candidate positions on climate change and energy policy
D & R U.S. Senate candidate positions on climate change and energy policy
RICHARD BENNETT
Do you believe climate change is happening? Do humans contribute to it? What should Congress do to address the problem?
I believe climate change is occurring, and I think it is clear that human behavior is a factor. Reducing pollution and waste should always be part of our ethic as human beings and a goal for society. Given the difficulty of determining the costs and benefits to various proposed policy changes and the frailty of our economy, I do not support any additional policies to address climate change at this time.

What should the country’s energy policy look like?
I believe we should set a goal to be energy independent on the North American continent. We have abundant sources of energy in our own country, and Canada, for example, provides a majority of the oil that Mainers consume to stay warm. I think we need to drill where it makes, but I do not support drilling off the coast of Maine like some of my opponents. I would like to see the Keystone XL pipeline built, and I would like to see us continue to take advantage of the huge natural gas deposits that we have in this country.


SCOTT D’AMBOISE
Do you believe climate change is happening? Do humans contribute to it? What should Congress do to address the problem?
I believe the earth goes through cycles. I do not believe humans have had the impact that the science community is suggesting. This shouldn’t be a government issue.

What should the country’s energy policy look like?
We need to get off all foreign oil and produce our own energy. Oil, natural gas, or clean coal, we have ample supplies of energy in our own country. By producing our own energy it would not only solve our energy problem but look at how many jobs it would create.


CYNTHIA DILL
Do you believe climate change is happening? Do humans contribute to it? What should Congress do to address the problem?
Yes. Yes. Gov should provide incentives for efficiency and conservation; end some energy subsidies; and pass laws to reduce carbon.

What should the country’s energy policy look like?
Energy policy should reflect values: conserve, protect the environment, rely on US and renewable resources, end ties with despots.


MATTHEW DUNLAP
Do you believe climate change is happening? Do humans contribute to it? What should Congress do to address the problem?
Climate change is something that is a firm part of geologic history, but the science is in, and human activity has accelerated the rate of global warming. We need to become far more energy efficient, and in so doing we will save a great deal of individual wealth along the way in heating oil, gasoline, and other fossil fuels. Natural gas has great promise if extraction questions can be reasonably answered, and renewable generation for electricity is an emerging field of possibility. The dangers of not addressing these problems are real and serious, and we need to work with our global neighbors to mitigate the damage being done.

What should the country’s energy policy look like?
The northeast consumes much of the nation’s heating oil portfolio. LIHEAP funds not only keep people warm, they keep many alive. We need to find resources to winterize homes so that much of that assistance isn’t wafting out through drafty windows and doors and uninsulated walls and roofs. Finding ways to help people in the region convert to natural gas would also be a great investment. Transportation infrastructure needs to be much more intermodal and less dependent on trucks and cars. We can move freight and people very efficiently by rail, and commuter and in-town rail is effective elsewhere in the country. It would also alleviate questions about parking capacity in downtowns as well. These policies can do much to improve our energy efficiency, and in turn lessen our dependence on foreign oil or controversial domestic oil production proposals such as those proposed for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.


JON HINCK
Do you believe climate change is happening? Do humans contribute to it? What should Congress do to address the problem?

Climate change is among the critical challenges facing humanity. I believe that we need a rapid, global shift away from the activities that give rise to dangerous greenhouse gas emissions. We need to rise to this challenge like Maine Senator Ed Muskie did to an early set of environmental challenges like fouled rivers and dangerously polluted air. Climate change requires leadership from the United States. The goal should be to reduce emissions from carbon intensive energy sources, like coal and oil. The target should be to reduce carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere 350 ppm from the current 385 ppm.

During my career, I have worked for public policies to reverse global warming. In 1997, I was an official NGO delegate with the delegation from Greenpeace International to the Kyoto Convention. As a member of the Maine Legislature, I have prioritized strategies to improve energy efficiency and limit reliance on carbon-intensive fuels. These changes, by reducing the demand side of the energy equation and diversifying our energy sources also reduces our energy costs.

Among other things, I helped to lead the way on Maine’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. I have sponsored and passed bills to support energy efficiency in institutions like hospitals, to curtail vehicle idling and to defend solar rights. I shepherded Maine’s Property Accessed Clean Energy (PACE) law that is weatherizing homes all over Maine today. I helped to enact a law to support development of offshore wind power. In 2010, I was an active participant in a national bipartisan group of 1,198 state legislators who worked to urge Congress to pass energy/climate legislation. This is a priority for me. rn

What should the country’s energy policy look like?

I believe the priority for use of public resources in energy should be toward maximizing energy efficiency. Efficiency is the cheapest and cleanest source of energy. We want to get the maximum about of work out of every unit of energy. In Maine, all buildings should be weatherized, tight and warm. Industrial processes and commercial operations should be modernized to operate with hyper efficiency.

Government policy should also require that all energy generation u201cinternalizeu201d its costs. The costs of each energy generation facility should not be passed on to close neighbors of the rest of planet. The 1,100 coal-fired power plants upwind of Maine should not be permitted to send airborne mercury that falls on us. Carbon emissions need to be controlled. Oil spills have to be prevented. Deadly waste should not be left for hundreds of future generations to safeguard. Power plants must insure themselves against the risk of accidents (this would require repeal of the Price Anderson Act that has the taxpayer insuring nuclear power plants in the event of a nuclear catastrophe.) Harm to human health, wildlife and the natural environment needs to be avoided.

If policies require cost internalization, the government can end market distorting subsidies. In this energy landscape, cleaner natural gas would be the key u201cbridging fuel,u201d as we transition toward hyper-efficiency and genuinely clean and renewable power resources. Offshore wind power, solar power, tidal energy, biomass, and other renewable sources will not only compete favorably in energy markets but will more rapidly come to power our economy.


DEBRA PLOWMAN
Do you believe climate change is happening? Do humans contribute to it? What should Congress do to address the problem?
I believe that our climate changes are cyclical in nature first and that there is certainly a human/animal contribution as well.

What should the country’s energy policy look like?
First, our energy policy should not be based on subsidies to shore up energy sources that cannot sustain themselves. In fact, the energy actually used to produce “sustainable” energy sources such as solar panels, windmills, etc. should be factored into whether the end product “saves” energy. Our country’s manufacturing base and source of electricity was originally powered by hydro – a clean, renewable, inexpensive source that made our country the leader in manufacturing. States and indeed other countries who still rely on this source of power enjoy cheap energy, stronger economies and less pollution.


BRUCE POLIQUIN
Do you believe climate change is happening? Do humans contribute to it? What should Congress do to address the problem?
Climate changes over long cycles. Everyone wants a clean environment. Congress should not stunt economic growth via huge carbon tax.

What should the country’s energy policy look like?
Allow full development of domestic energy resources: increase supply and lower gas prices. Many jobs created; improved national security.


BENJAMIN POLLARD
Do you believe climate change is happening? Do humans contribute to it? What should Congress do to address the problem?
Catastrophic climate disruption is definitely happening and created by humans. Congress should pass a carbon tax to reduce CO2 emissions.

What should the country’s energy policy look like?
Energy policy should focus on conservation, support renewable energy, especially solar, and redesign transport with rail and bicycle use.


WILLIAM SCHNEIDER
Do you believe climate change is happening? Do humans contribute to it? What should Congress do to address the problem?
It is critical that we be good stewards of our environment. But climate change has been occurring since Earth's earliest days and attempting to end the process through regulation would be a costly and pointless overreach. Free market approaches to address climate change issues should be encouraged.

What should the country’s energy policy look like?
The price of gas has doubled under the Obama Administration because the environmental lobby would rather see $4.00 gas than expand domestic exploration and supply. We need a comprehensive energy policy that develops domestic supply, invests in our energy infrastructure, and relies on the market to pick winners and losers.


CHARLES SUMMERS
Do you believe climate change is happening? Do humans contribute to it? What should Congress do to address the problem?
No, however, we all have a responsibility to be good stewards of the environment.

What should the country’s energy policy look like?
We should be drilling and exploiting our country's own natural resources: gas, oil, coal and nuclear. Our country's energy policy is a matter of the economic and national security. We have a responsibility to fully exploit our own natural resources and end our costly dependency on foreign resources.

SOURCE: http://bangordailynews.com/race/2012-primary-election/us-senate-12p-3/

Posted on Monday, June 4, 2012 (Archive on Monday, June 25, 2012)
Posted by Jym St. Pierre   Contributed by Jym St. Pierre